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10 Signs Your Child Could Be in Trouble

If your child starts to do worse at school or not go to class, this could be a sign that they are in trouble: maybe, they are being bullied by classmates or maybe they don’t get enough attention at home. But there are some other behavior signs that can indicate that a child is in trouble and they are really easy to miss.

The Bright Side team knows how busy modern parents are and how easy it is to miss certain details about the behavior of their children. Of course, these signs might not mean anything at all, but you should still pay attention to them. Just in case.

1. Looks messy or wears clothes that are not right for the weather

A child that has to deal with some sort of abuse — physical or emotional, stops taking care of themselves. They don’t shower as often, they wear dirty clothes, and they wear things that are not right for the weather.

2. Feels hungry all the time

One of the most intuitive ways to deal with stress is to eat. A child that is in trouble is always hungry, tired, and not active at all. Of course, there is a chance that they are tired of school (for example, if it’s just before exams), but it’s better to pay attention to this sign, especially if a child comes home extremely hungry. It might mean that there’s a reason why they don’t go to the school cafeteria — maybe someone is taking away their pocket money.

3. Misses school, or vice versa, is too eager to go there

Not going to classes might be happening right under a parent’s nose. For example, if a kid is doing great at school, teachers won’t even notice if a kid misses 1-2 lessons per week.

Then, there are opposite situations: a child goes to school even when they are sick. Unfortunately, this might mean that there are problems at home: like a child doesn’t feel safe, doesn’t trust their relatives, or is being abused.

4. Tries to be too responsible

When a child shows qualities that usually belong to adults and they try to be very responsible, this is an attempt to gain control.

5. Abuses other kids

A teenager that is abused may take it all out on other people, usually in games or conversations (doing things like pushing, calling names, taking and breaking someone else’s toys, and so on). This is their way of trying to feel like they are in control.

This behavior may, of course, be nothing special, but it’s something you should pay attention to.

6. Looks or behaves too well

If a child is always dressed perfectly, does all their homework perfectly, and so on, it’s possible that they’re doing all that, not because they want to, but because they are scared. Maybe, their parents are too harsh on them when they do something wrong.

7. Always wants attention

The reactions to bullying and abuse can be different. Some people become reserved and shy, and others try to get the attention of their parents. It’s one thing when a child has always been like that, but it’s an alarming sign if it happens out of the blue.

8. Changes their route to school

If, for no apparent reason, your child decides to walk to school instead of taking a bus or vice versa, it may be a sign of abuse. It’s possible that he or she comes across other kids from school that bully them on the way to school. Of course, it’s also possible that they are just curious about their surroundings.

9. Changes their look

Of course, nose piercings and wearing some hipster or other non-standard clothing can just be a sign of teenage rebellion. But it may also be a sign that a child is bullied and the clothes are a reaction. It’s especially worrisome when these changes happen fast: just a week ago, your son or daughter loved bright-colored clothes and now they suddenly hate them and want to replace them with black ones.

10. Often complains about a stomachache or headache

Children that are abused at school have different reactions to stress. Some of the most popular reactions are headaches and stomachaches. Some of them just pretend to be ill to stay home and not to go to school where they will have to see their abusers.

The most important job of a parent is to notice even the smallest signs that a child is having trouble at home or at school, and confronting that through a conversation or otherwise. A good talk is the first and most necessary step to overcoming difficulties. After that, you will need to react depending on what the child tells you.

When you were at school, were there kids who were abused by their classmates or other kids? How did it impact their behavior?

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